The Santa Maria Gang Suppression Team conducted a large-scale gang enforcement operation through the Santa Maria Valley on Wednesday that involved 59 locations and four local gangs. In all, 60 people were investigated and searched by law enforcement officials, leading to nine arrests.

The operation was in response to a recent increase in gang-related activity and violent crimes throughout Santa Maria.

The Gang Suppression Team was assisted by Santa Maria detectives and officers, members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, state parole officers and members of the Santa Barbara County Probation Department.

During the operation, the members of local criminal street gangs were targeted for specialized enforcement, including parole searches, probation searches and search warrants.

Among those arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, were Abraham Serna, 23, Luis Maya, 27, Severiano Flores, 20, Belinda Sanchez, 39, and Henry Arroyo, 41, all of Santa Maria.

The various charges included misdemeanor warrants, felony warrants, probation violations, drug charges and weapons charges. Pending investigations remain from the operation, which are expected to result in additional arrests and charges in the coming days.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at